Friday, January 6, 2012

The Farmer’s Museum – Cooperstown NY

Continuing with our late summer road trip…

When in Cooperstown, it’s all about the Baseball Hall of Fame…or is it?!

This is the Main Barn and entrance to The Farmers’ Museum in Cooperstown New York.  This barn was built in 1918 for a wealthy local family for their herd of prize cattle.  The stone Colonial Revival style barn, the adjacent creamery and herdsman’s cottage were designed by architect Frank Whiting and they all are part of the museum complex.

The Main Barn serves as the ticket office and the museum’s exhibition center.  When we visited, there was a large exhibit of past and current food items created and produced in New York State.  We also saw the Cardiff Giant, (, as well as a plethora of 19th century craft and farm tools plus antique farm equipment.

This was one of Laurie’s favorite buildings at the Farmers’ Museum…the Empire State Carousel!

The Carousel has 25 hand-carved animals representing agricultural and natural resources found in New York State as well as chariot rides in a scallop shell, and Erie Canal boat and an original Lover’s Tub.  Folklore panels depict Uncle Sam, the Deerslayer, Susan B. Anthony, Teddy Roosevelt, Grandma Moses and Jackie Robinson.

The 19th Century Historic Village was formed by gathering more than 25 period buildings from rural communities around New York State and then restoring them, piece by piece.  The idea is to show what both domestic and commercial life was like in a rural community during the late 18th and early 19th Century.

The village is very well done.  The view shown above, strikes me as a genuine look back at 1800 in rural America...probably in a fairly prosperous settlement.

Even though we were a bit out of season, the week after Labor Day, several of the buildings at the Farmers’ Museum’s ‘village’ were staffed with re-enactors.  The photo above is of the interior of Dr. Thrall’s Pharmacy.  A medicinal herb garden was adjacent to the pharmacy.  This building dates back to 1832 and was moved to the site from Hartwick New York.

This weaver was working on a very large frame loom in the back portion of the Westcott Shop.  This Greek revival building is representative of the small commercial buildings found in central New York in the 1840’s. 

Other buildings in the village include a creamery; Todd’s General Store; Morey Barn/Children’s Barnyard; two 3-sided drive sheds (1800’s ‘car’ port for carriages, sleighs, etc.); an 1827 blacksmith shop; a printing offce from Middlefield, NY; a doctor’s office; a law office; the Lippett Farmstead; a poultry house; a granery; two wooden barns; a hop house (for drying hops); a big church with a pipe organ; the 1795 Bump Tavern; a carriage house; two homes; a kitchen and woodshed, and; an 1814 shoolhouse.

This view is across the cemetery next to the Cornwallville Church toward the Lippitt Farmstead.  Several heritage breeds thrive at the farm, including Narragansett turkeys, Devon cattle and Cheviot sheep.

The farmstead is a living example of how a farm would have operated in the mid-19th century.  Different seasons result in changing scenes and farm chores.  Hops are cultivated and harvested, farm animals are raised, sheep are sheared and their wool is combed, spun and woven.  Children can feed and pet the young animals…

Laurie and I noticed this strange learned behavior by one of these cows… Can you see what we noticed?  The cow closest to the barn has discovered that she could scratch her itchy nose by inserting the other cow’s horn in her nostril.  She repeated this seemingly unusual action several times while we were watching!

This Devon cow has been called into the barn for milking.  The re-enactor who was handling the milking chore/demonstration just stood outside the barn and called the cow by hollering, “Here Cow!”

And here is our happy milkmaid!  Laurie hadn’t milked a cow in a many years…since she was a little girl.  She did a pretty good job too…except that the farmer/re-enactor commented that she’d be a while if she had a whole herd to milk…

As the Farmers’ Museum was closing for the day and we were walking back to the big stone barn, one of the staff working at the carousel called out and asked us if we’d like a free ride.  It was a perfect ending to a nice visit!

This museum is a great place to visit!  There is enough for children to see and do plus there’s plenty of space for them to run around.  With a few exceptions, the Farmers’ Museum is closed from the end of October until the end of March.  The facility is fully opened and staffed from around the 2nd week in May until the 2nd week in October.  For more information, just go to
Just click on any photo to enlarge it…
Thanks for stopping by for a visit!
Take Care, Big Daddy Dave


  1. What a great day trip that would be. There certainly was plenty to see. I hope you had a great holiday and that 2012 brings only good things your way. Have a great weekend. Blessings...Mary

  2. Really a beautiful place. Happy New Year Dave to you and your family!

  3. If you love it in the Summer, you'll REALLY love it in the Winter during the Candlelight Evening!...That has to be the most romantic setting on a cold, snowy winters night...My girlfriend Terry took me to it with me kicking and screaming (not literally) the whole we look forward to it every year! It's a must see!

  4. As an art student researching the work of the Impressionists, I have big help from this site called It's like a good art library, where, convenient for me, works of artists are divided into art movements in history. Some of the works I had never seen before.
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